Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unluckiest People

It is called ”Lady Luck” by the laymen, “Goddess Tyche” by the Greeks and “Fortuna” by the Romans. Whatever it is, it is some strange twist of fate that can, rest assured, make and break deals, bring infamy and fame, make you a winner or a loser in an instant. Such lucks have been bestowed about people around the world; or should we say unlucky! After all, we have heard odd tales of the people who spring to the greatest heights of fame just by mere chance but what about those people who may be labeled as having the worst possible luck! A list of just a few of these poor souls is assembled below, so that we can remember them when sighing about the more incredibly lucky ones!

1. Evelyn Adams

This American lady won the New Jersey Lottery not just once but twice and that too consecutively in the years 1985 and 1986. That’s a sum of $5.4 million that we are talking about. Now anyone would look at this and say ‘wow’, now that’s luck!’ but poor Adams lost the greater portion of this money at the slot machines in the Atlantic city and through gambling; she says she is ‘human’ and everyone makes mistakes but one can only wonder how the luckiest person goes from being fortunate enough to be chosen out of a million players and then becomes unfortunate enough not to maintain a single shred of that luck.

2.Henry Ziegland

The most unbelievable of all stories about bad luck, this one dates back to 1883. When Henry Ziegland broke up with his girlfriend, she was tormented enough to commit suicide. Her enraged brother drove to Ziegland’s place and put a bullet through him, and then took his own life with the same gun. Little did he know that the bullet had brushed past Ziegland and had lodged itself in the tree behind him. Lucky as hell, won’t you say? Unfortunately, the same fate turned against him as, some years later, he decided to take that tree down. He blew it up with dynamite, and the explosion sent the stuck bullet zooming into Ziegland’s head, finally killing its designated target.

3. Frane Selak

From the time period of 1962 to 1996, this Croatian music teacher met with a number of most deathly accidents; first the train he took to travel broke off the trail and plunged into the icy river beneath killing many others except Selak, the door of the plane he was flying on blew off and he was blown off the plane to land safely in a stack of hay, the bus he took crashed leaving many dead and Selak with minor injuries, his car caught fire twice and blew up, he drove off a cliff to avoid crashing into a truck and landed on a tree to watch his car explode beneath him. Now when you review these accidents, it brings to mind a man who managed to escape each time with nothing but minor injuries. Some would call it tremendous luck; others term it the worst luck ever! Selak did, however, meet with a less controversial sort of lucky time as he won a big lottery in 2003. Was it Lady Luck apologizing for all the mishaps? Possibly yes.

4. Tsutomu Yamaguchi

The only person to have survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic atrocities. He survived two supreme atomic explosions in a wartime that left most of his family and his city dead. His parents and children all died of cancer, as an after-effect of the nuclear bombs that wiped out more than 500,000 Japanese and left disastrous impacts on the environment that Yamaguchi lived in. Yamaguchi died on January 4, 2010 aged 93.

5. Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence

Mr. Cairns-Lawrence is a sales manager and his wife is a dental laboratory assistant. That sounds as normal a couple as ever but as fate would have it, wherever they are, a big, well-planned terrorist attack takes place. They were holidaying in New York when 9/11 took place; they were roaming around in a double-decker bus in London when the London Underground bombings (referred to as 7/7) took place and, yes, they were there in the city when the Mumbai attacks that besieged the Indian metropolitan city with terror took place. This is definitely much more than just bad timing for this poor couple!

6. Violet Jessop

What do sister-ships Titanic and Britannic, both of which drowned in 1912 and 1916, respectively, have in common with another stream liner Olympic that, too, collided at the expense of many lives, Yes, all three of them met disastrous fates but another thing they have in common is the ocean liner stewardess Violet Jessop, who was on board of all three when they met their tragic end. She is one of the very few survivors of these disasters, but her survival story makes one wonder, just how many times can you board a ship that never reaches the destination unscathed!

7. Robert Todd Lincoln

The son of Abraham Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln was an American lawyer and eventually the War Secretary for the State, an accomplished individual in his own right. What, then, was so unfortunate about him that made him number in our top ten? True, he lost his father early on in his life and was the only one of his four brothers to live beyond the teenage years and lived to see the death of his son. But there is something more in the form of the turn of events which made him a ‘reluctant witness’ to American History: he was at the scene of three different American Presidential assassinations. His own father President Abraham Lincoln, then President Garfield and finally, President McKinley were all assassinated while Robert Todd Lincoln was present at the scene. If one is to go by the assassination lore, he played a shadowy role in the assassinations; but true or not, this had all the ingredients of a life filled with distressing and rather clearly unfortunate events.

8. Anny Hodges

How do you become the only person ever to be hit by a meteorite shower? You just have to be as unlucky as Anny Hodges. In November 1954, she was sleeping in her living room when this meteorite came crashing through the roof, destroying her radio, some furniture and even injuring her to a level where she found it difficult to walk for a few days afterward. As it happened, Anne’s husband filed a legal suit against the American government for the re-possession of the rock but when he finally won it, the public attention had died and they couldn’t find a buyer willing to pay much for this oddity!

9. Roy Sullivan

This park ranger from Virginia won for himself the nickname of “Human lightening Rod’; he is the only person to have been hit by lightening a record of seven tremendous times! He happened to survive the lightening each time, incurring injuries that he recovered from afterward. However, this unfortunate man died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound much later at an age of 71.

10. William "Bud" Post

This poor man went from the lucky co-incidence of winning a $ 16.44 million lottery in Pennsylvania, to being $ 1 million under debt in just one year. His lucky turned incredibly sour as he was sued by his ex-girlfriend for a share of his lottery money, when his siblings pressured him to make joint business investments that brought no money back and also when his own brother hired a hit man to have him killed so that he could have his share of his brother’s win. His troubles, however, were still not over; after shooting at a bill collector he got himself entangled in another long legal process. He finally gave up his life due to respiratory failures, all his luck washed long away the very day it brought him fame and money.

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